The World Trade Organisation has confirmed that Europe's subsidies to sugar producers are illegal.
So that's that then.
Not yet. Europe's Commissioner for Agriculture, Mariann Fischer Boel has merely replied that the EU "will take account of this verdict" when reform proposals are published in June, according to a report in BusinessWeek
They can do better than that. They should accept the verdict in full for two reasons. First because it will give a boost to output in developing countries where Oxfam reckons that EU export dumping has cost Brazil amost $500m, Thailand, $150m and South Africa and India $60m each in 2002. It is both immoral and economic madness for EU countries to be bribed to produce lossmaking crops which could be better grown in the developing world.
Second if the EU accepts the WTO ruling completely then it will be in a strong position to demand that the US does the same with regard to a similar ruling by the WTO about US cotton subsidies.